The Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik is one of those things I reach for when I want an easy read that I know I’m going to love. I practically drink up these books whenever I start reading them again. They’re set in one of my favourite periods of history – the Napoleonic Wars. The amount of research that Novik has done for these books is astonishing, as she uses real life events and histrocial figures as the cornerstones in which she builds her alternate history. The big difference between the real wars and Novik’s version, is the existence of dragons. While this may sound gimmicky, dragons are not just massive fire breathing beasts, instead they are intelligent and integrated into the military of both Britain and France.
When Laurence, a navy captain, is forced by duty and circumstance into becoming a dragon captain, he is forced to reexamine who he is and the prejudices of his society, as the dragon Temeraire proves to be very independently minded.
The nine books in the series, with the last, League of Dragons released on the 14th of June, 2016, spans four continents and countless countries. Laurence and Temeraire through exile and diplomatic missions are forced to confront the realities of how dragons are treated around the world; slavery for both humans and dragons is a central topic throughout the books. The characters, both human and dragon, are realistic and flawed, and I love them all.
This is a really fantastic book series and I can’t wait to read League of Dragons. It’s waiting for me on my Kindle, but I’m rereading the whole series and haven’t quite got to it. The Temeraire series is definitely worth a read for anyone with an interest in the Napoleonic Wars or fantasy, and I cannot recommend it more highly.
I also loved Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which is a very different type of fantasy novel but also set in the Napoleonic Wars, and if anyone else knows of any books set in this time period please let me know in the comments!
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